A cool, wet spring has delayed planting progress across much of the country according to a report released April 15 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With only two percent of total corn acres planted by April 14, progress lags far behind this time last year, when 16 percent of U.S. corn acres were already in the ground and trails the five-year average for this point by a full five percentage points.

"Planting is running somewhat behind normal in most areas, but slow progress this early in the season should not be seen as a cause for alarm," said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson.

"Last year, planting flew by quickly, but the severe drought that plagued much of the country damaged the overall crop.

“With many areas getting much needed rain, a slight delay at this point could still produce an excellent crop which will be buoyed by the near-record acreage farmers intend to plant to corn."

Progress lagged behind the five-year average in all of the top 18 corn-producing states except Texas, which is exactly on pace.

(To see how the market is reacting to the lack of planting progress, see


The most significant delays have been seen in Tennessee where planting progress lags 16 percentage points behind the five-year average and 48 percentage points behind 2012 planting progress at this time.

Illinois and Kentucky have also seen planting delays that put progress more than 10 percentage points behind the five-year average also.

Despite these delays, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the usual corn planting and harvesting dates across the United States issued in 2012 shows that most areas have not yet reached, or are just now entering, the period in which the most planting activity occurs.

To view the Field Crops Usual Planting and Harvest Dates report,click here.

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